Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Altuve & Hinze Lead Minors At Half Way Point of Season

Baseball American did a write up on the minor league statistical leaders at the half way point of the season. Jose Altuve and Kody Hinze got a great deal of discussion in the piece.

Altuve is leading MiLB in batting average at the half way mark. His .395 batting average leads the second place batter by .018. Here is what BA had to say about the little guy with the big stick.

Jose Altuve hit .301 at two Class A stops last season (561 plate appearances), on the heels of a cumulative .306 showing in two years in the Rookie-level Appalachian League (360 PA), so he has a clear track record of hitting for average. His crazy .395 average this year has been propped up by an otherworldly showing at home in the high Class A California League prior to his bump to Double-A. Altuve hit .464 (52-for-112) in 28 home games for Lancaster, collecting a hit slightly more than half the time he put the ball in play (50.5 percent).
This is a polite way of saying "the Lancaster effect". We say hooey on that. Let's focus on the fact that since his promotion to AA he has hit .381. We know this is a small sample size (no pun intended) but the leader in AA for average for the season is at .357. So let's quit trying to explain away his success and recognize him for being a solid hitter.

is among the leaders in HR (19 - Tied for 7th) and Slugging Percentage (.622 - 14th) but he is THE leader in On Base Percentage. Here is what BA said about the big first baseman.

Kody Hinze, from Houston's Nimitz High, failed to come to terms with the Pirates as a 46th-round draft-and-follow selection in ’05. He twice went undrafted out of Angelina (Texas) JC before signing with Houston as a free agent that October ’07.... Hinze toiled for two years in rookie ball and has yet to advance past high Class A, but he's on to something this year with Lancaster. He's clubbed 19 homers and drawn 64 walks, the latter of which ranks second only to the Padres' Jaff Decker in the minors. Hinze's walk rate (20 percent of PAs) leads the way among this group .
Hinze may also be benefiting from "the Lancaster effect" but the numbers don't show as much difference as they do with Altuve. In fact, Hinze's home and away numbers are almost identical. At home he has a slash line of .333/.463/.620 and his away slash line is .326/.467/.636. He is having a monster June, hitting .359 /.495/.679. All this indicates, he is ready for AA. Hopefully he will get that call soon. Hinze is a bit too old for the California League and needs to move on.

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